Inmate ice cream sale sweetens youth football pot

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WALLA WALLA — Inmates, ice cream and youth football seem like a curious mix, but in the end everyone won.

An ice cream sale involving inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary produced a $2,300 donation to the Walla Walla Youth Football League. The money was presented to league youths Friday afternoon by prison Superintendent Stephen Sinclair and other penitentiary staff.

Robert Branscum, a corrections specialist, said the money was raised through the sale of ice cream to inmates who qualified to buy the treat by practicing good behavior.

The sale is conducted about each quarter, Branscum said. Prisoners who have no infractions are allowed to buy in and profits are donated to a community organization.

In the past sales have involved pizza or chicken, but this time it involved locally purchased ice cream. Inmates were allowed to buy half gallons of the treat, along with a bottle of chocolate or caramel syrup for topping.

Delivering the bundles of ice cream to the inmates, who had to take their treats back to their cells and consume it there without sharing, was no small task, Branscum said.

“This time we did the entire institution,” Branscum said. “Logistically it was a nightmare but fortunately it got cold, which helped. We broke it up into four days. It wasn’t a one-man show, it was a real team effort.”

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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